As google is trying to turn a profit more search results are turning into paid listings.
Google has for sometime given users the best search results. Whenever users entered a search term into Google it always seemed to find the most relevant websites for the things they were looking for, and so some years back most everyone switched from using Yahoo and now Google is the search engine of choice.
But over the last few months things have been changing, and not for the better.
Now when users search with google they not only find a large list of paid advertisements down the right hand side of the results page, Google also seem to be putting more and more paid adverts at the top of the main column to. Most people didn't really mind or realize at first, it was just one, but now they are finding three, four or even five adverts listed at the top and they are having to scroll down the page more and more often to find what they were looking for, which is nearly always found in the organic results.
Not that Google's algorithm is becoming less effective, the recent Panda and Penguin updates have removed a lot of spam and poor quality sites from the SERPs, but since Google is starting to fill the front page with adverts, people are having to visit page two much more often.
Why would they be doing this? Google is a search engine, not a paid business directory.
The reality is that Google is putting more importance on the money it makes for the shareholders than the quality of service they're providing to its users.
Is Google going to lose its dominant position?
Users get fed up with seeing paid advertisements all the time, rarely do they offer the information you're looking for and instead they are trying to sell the latest product. It would come as no surprise to see a decline in the number of people using Google and instead start to switch to one of its competitors. Both Bing and Yahoo have made significant changes to their ranking algorithms over the last year or so and both are ready to take any users they can from google.
Long term white hat SEO, is the future bright or is SEO dead?
There is no shortage of website owner's complaining that Google has dropped their website ranking pages back. An online business can go from receiving thousands of visitors a day to zero, and the owner left broke. Because Google can so easily drop a websites rankings any modern search engine optimization campaign which is in business for the long haul should be looking to diversify the search engines they are trying to rank in. If people do start to switch from Google to the other search engines, then it's clearly time to start taking action to rank in Google's competitors.
Website owners need to start thinking about how they are going to operate in a post-Google world.